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From pointy sticks to modern ballistic weapons, men have been inflicting lethal harm on one another for millennia. It was only natural that countermeasures would be developed to protect against such threats. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from the days of chainmail and bulky metal armor . . .

Technological advances have placed lightweight, flexible, and concealable body armor within easy reach of police officer, soldier, and civilian alike. Quality body armor is simply one more layer of personal defense to augment our mindset and skill at arms. Concealable body armor is the preference for law enforcement and security folks who don’t want to go around looking like a one-man swat team. It’s also a smart option for the rest of us who don’t wear a uniform but could benefit from an extra measure of protection when working or traveling in heavy crime areas.

So, let’s suppose that you’ve decided that your life is worth investing in some quality body armor. The Safeguard Armor Ghost Level II vest is worth consideration. It’s an effective way to protect your vital organs from most handgun and stabbing threats.

Safeguard Armor Ghost Vest

Like all Safeguard products, the Ghost vest utilizes the proven ballistic protection of Kevlar®. This material has been around for the better part of 50 years and has a well-deserved reputation for being a lifesaver. Combined with Safeguard Armor’s Level I edged weapon protection, the Ghost vest can handle a 158gr. JHP round of .357 Magnum at 1400fps and all lesser threats.

The ballistic panels ride in a 100% Coolmax® carrier that wicks perspiration and helps keep you from overheating, especially in warmer climates. Sweat is a fact of life when wearing body armor.

Safeguard Armor’s Ghost armor is not the easiest to conceal, but that’s typically a concern for civilians. It disappears nicely beneath a loose fitting pullover or light jacket. In warmer weather, this could be a bit more challenging in terms of concealment and heat retention.

If you need a more discreet type of vest, check out Nick Leghorn’s review of Safeguard Armor’s Stealth model.

Ghost Level II Vest

The vest we evaluated was very comfortable and gave a definite sense of security without making you feel like you’ve just donned a turtle’s shell. I asked a number of friends with either a law enforcement or security background to try it on and share their opinion.

Every person who slipped it on commented on how comfy it felt. This is critically important in the sense that we tend to make excuses not to wear items that we find uncomfortable.

That’s not a problem with this vest, the Kevlar® panels and stab proofing team up to give the Ghost a reassuring, no-nonsense feel.

Snug as a hug

At first blush, the vest appears a bit bulky, but the fit more than makes up for it. The cut of this particular vest works with the wearer. It’s generous enough to cover your vital areas yet not so long as to interfere with wearing a duty or tool belt or to ride up in front when sitting down.

When you’re not wearing your vest, it’s important that the ballistic panels are stored flat and protected from moisture and direct sunlight. Safeguard Armor thoughtfully includes a zippered storage bag that can either hang in the closet or store flat. It’s also an inconspicuous way to transport your body armor when it’s not in use.

The panels come with a 5-year warranty and are in compliance with NIJ standards for body armor ratings.

If six bills seems a bit high for something you hope you’ll never need, remember that even if you need it just once, it will be money well spent. Just think of it as keeping the scales tipped in your favor for those rare occasions when things go sideways.

Specifications: SafeGuard Armor Level II Ghost Vest

Weight: Approximately 2.5 kg
Sizes: XS to 3XL
Price: $581 (as tested)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Ease of Use * * * * *
Couldn’t be easier. Pull it on like a t-shirt and adjust the two Velcro straps if desired. This would be a real plus if needed quickly after hearing something go ‘bump’ in the night.

Utility  * * * *
Per Nick’s testing: Safeguard Armor offers Level II ballistic protection and level I blade and spike protection that should save your hide from most handgun & stabbing threats. Being able to accommodate a small trauma plate would be a nice addition.

Overall * * * * *
It’s a solid piece of kit; very comfortable and functional. It would be a definite morale booster when danger arises unexpectedly.

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  1. Seems a little expensive for the bulk, but I guess it depends what you use it for. I prefer something more concealable that will still stop a pistol round (even if it hurts like hell)

    • Everyone who’s ever seen a diaper as a regular part of their adult life saw a diaper in the first picture.

      • “Every person who slipped it on commented on how comfy it felt. This is critically important in the sense that we tend to make excuses not to wear items that we find uncomfortable.”

        I wouldn’t wear a diaper that was uncomfortable either.

  2. Ghost armor is it banned in Kaliformia yet or is it to protect you from “ghost” guns that fire 30 .30 cal rounds a half second ?

  3. Does there exist some armor you can hide under a jacket that is level 3? In my area .308 and similar power cartridges are the most common.

    For well organized criminals the G3 and MP5 are the most common (easier to get a G3 than an AK).

    • Are you the leader of a rapid response team dedicated to protecting one of the largest retail shopping centers in the United States? Is that you Gecko45? I hope you are not still using duct tape to secure your plates.

      • No, just a normal person in a normal country in an abnormal world.

        Here in Norway if you get shot it is most likely with .308, 30.06, 8mm Mauser or 6.5x55mm. Unless you are one of them city folks then it most likely is 9×19 or .308.

        So if you get body armor here it should be able to stop .308. I know that such armor is impossible to wear under a sweater or shirt but it is possible to wear under a winter jacket (which you wear almost the entire year here).

        • AR500 is probably the only affordable stuff that will stop 308, 32lbs for a full kit, and pretty durable. Really great for those enhanced early morning armored jogs. You can take a few plates off the bar when you’re doing squats.

    • If you want to stop rifle rounds such as 5.56 mm x 45 mm, 7.62 mm x 39 mm, and 7.62 mm x 51 mm (.308 Winchester), I think you need hard plates that are fairly thick … the exact thickness depending on the material you choose. Those hard plates could be steel, ceramic, or composite material. Whatever way you go, they will have enough thickness and weight that they are pretty much impossible to conceal.

      • Found one:

        It is expensive (699 USD) but weighs 1kg (2.2 lbs) and is 1 inch thick. It is rated as level 3.

        Seems good, maybe in the future with a better job.

        • Pretty sure American import/export laws will apply, even if you come here and fly it back in checked luggage. Don’t know how big a problem they’d be, or even what Norway’s laws are. Still, something to consider. 🙂

  4. “… the Ghost vest can handle a 158gr. JHP round of .357 Magnum at 1400fps and all lesser threats.”

    My understanding is that velocity defeats ballistic vests. So how about a .357 Magnum 125 grain JHP at 1600 fps?

    And what about Spitzer (pointy) bullets from Magnum handguns? Would those penetrate common ballistic vests? I know they would tend to suck as a defensive round but what other options do you have if your threat profile includes attackers who wear ballistic vests?

    • If you use some pointy .357 it should go through. There should be some hunting loads like that. Hunting loads are always good for defense.

      Or you can just get some 7.62×25.

    • I would guess that if you have attackers who wear ballistic vests, then you have an overall situation going on which goes way beyond their ballistic vests.

  5. Is it rated for 7.62×25? Not sure what make Brass Fetcher used, but S&B FMJ went through and still penetrated 11.8 inches of ballistic gel.

  6. Call me crazy but I would rather have the turtle shell. This is just basic physics – Mass times speed equals force. Take your basic 230 grain .45ACP bullet traveling at a speed of 850 feet per second. It will have an impact pressure of “Oh My Fracking G-d this hurts! Someone take me to the hospital. I think i’ve ruptrued something inside me. I am so glad this vest stopped the bullet but my belly button just touched my spine. No puncture wound but three ribs are broken.”

  7. Reviewing a ballistic vest without destructive testing is like reviewing a firearm without shooting it. All you can speak to is ergonomics.

    Speaking of ergonomics – Have you tried climbing with it on? Shooting from awkward positions? How does it affect firing a long gun from the shoulder? Can you run in it? If the panels need to be protected from moisture what about sweat?

  8. I like it, especially that they’re able to get the bulk and price down, but still offer stab protection, too. Because let’s face it, towhatever degree you’re exposed to risk of gunshot, you’re more so at risk of being stabbed.

    The pricing and comfort aren’t quite there to prompt me to buy, but if I had a job that put me at elevated risk, such as most types of retail or definitely any kind of security work, this would be a must have piece of gear.

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